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The Biggest Disappointments in UFC History

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Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianemko shadowboxes for a Strikeforce photoshoot back in 2009. (Photo by Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE)

There’s so much to love about MMA. It offers hours of entertainment, and for each card happening on the opposite end of the earth in the middle of the night that can only be viewed on some hidden Fox channel, there’s a positive aspect to counteract it. But, on the flip side of all this enjoyment, there is a dark reality of disappointment. MMA just inherently has that quality. In honor of that, and to commemorate the scars we already carry, in particular, let’s have a look at some of the biggest disappointments in UFC history.

Emelianenko Never Fought in the UFC

This is the greatest one, and not just for those of us who have fun at betting sites and would have killed to see Fedor Emelianenko matched up.

Emelianenko was unstoppable not just during his PRIDE run, but before it, as well. He managed to amass an astonishing record of 26-1 before he came to the USA and pushed it up to 31 wins. Meanwhile, he came very close to becoming property of the UFC, and was being lined up for big bouts, including one against Brock Lesnar. It wasn’t, however, meant to be.

Rousey’s Sad End

It has to be said that Ronda Rousey deserved better. She is almost a punchline these days, remembered for refusing to show her battered face in an airport because she couldn’t seem to handle her first career loss in the MMA with any dignity.

In a lot of ways she’s pro wrestling’s problem now. She’s the hottest free-agent signing in years for Vince McMahon, WWE CEO, and the kingpin of wrestling will no doubt be hard at work building her into something even better than she was in the MMA. And she was truly great in the MMA.

Velasquez’s Career Arc

For a long time, Velasquez was The Guy in the world of MMA. It seemed to be a given that he would go on to become the Heavyweight champion of the world sooner or later, and that, once he got to that position, it would be very difficult to unseat him.

He blistered his way through the Heavyweight division in the later part of the 2000s, ending it off with the total destruction of Lesnar at UFC 121 in order to become the champion we all knew he would be.

But, after that, repetitive opponents, long delays, and injury after injury eventually derailed his incredible career and left a lot of us wondering if he would end up as the symbol for someone who simply lost his prime rather than one that would be remembered for the combative excellence he exhibited time after time after time.

They’ll Stay With Us

Regret can be managed when we adjust our expectations, and there are few sports fan bases that understand this better than the diehards who have devoted their free time to supporting MMA. It doesn’t it go away, however, or any less painful when it happens.

Gordon Ryan Rolls With Hypnotik

Gordon Ryan Hypnotik BJJ

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